O Come, Emmanuel // Our Advent Plea

I remember the first time I heard it, what has become my favorite Christmas song. My dad, who has a background in music and theater, delivered it as a special during a worship service in our church one December many years ago. He walked out onto the stage with no…

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Good Death

I sat beside the bedside of an 84 year old woman who is maybe days, perhaps even hours, away from her death. Dorothy is her name. I didn’t know her personally until yesterday. Her son attended our church in Denver and when his mom took a turn for the worst,…

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From Fixing to Following

There is a story told in the Sayings of the Desert Fathers. A group of old men came to see Abba Anthony, in the midst of whom was a man named Abba Joseph. Abba Anthony wanted to test them, so he suggested a text of Scripture and asked each one…

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“There is literally nothing else”

Last fall was one of the strangest periods of my life. About halfway through a three month sabbatical our church in Denver (Bloom) had provided us over the summer, we discerned the Lord calling us to lay down that ministry, which we had lovingly and painstakingly built over seven years,…

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Crucifixion of the Warrior God (Post 1)

Pastor, scholar, and longtime evangelical provocateur Greg Boyd is out to correct what he calls a “lacuna” in the field of biblical interpretation, and that is this: how can we at once affirm the God-breathed and revelatory nature of the Old Testament text while also affirming that the God revealed…

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The God of My Depths

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am an emotionally complex guy. (My wife will be the first to testify.) I can vacillate wildly between hope and despair, joy and sadness, love and seeming apathy. It frustrates me sometimes, because “hope, joy, and love” are where I’d prefer to…

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How to “Pray for Healing”

I sat by the bedside of a dear friend of mine last night. Barely 24 hours removed from a multiple-bypass open heart surgery, he was in excruciating pain. We had spent about an hour together at that point, and during our time I would watch his agony rise in swells….

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Entering the Heart of God in Prayer

One of the saddest things I routinely encounter as a pastor is the reality that most people’s prayer lives hover somewhere between barely-hanging-on and utterly non-existent. That is sad because God desires more for us, and that “more” can and will satisfy us. The prophet Isaiah said that the redeemed…

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On the Life that is Stronger than Death :: Pentecost Sunday

“Son of man,” the Lord asked the prophet Ezekiel, many centuries ago, “Can these bones live?” These bones that represented the waste and devastation that had become Israel; Israel, that once proud people, the glory of the whole earth, the apple of Yahweh’s eye, now pining away in exile, full…

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